Colonialism, Colonization and Land Law in Mandate Palestine: The Zor Al-Zarqa and Barrat Qisarya Land Disputes in Historical Perspective
Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Forthcoming
51 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2004
This article focuses on land rights, land law and land administration within a multilayered colonial setting by examining a major land dispute in British ruled Palestine (1917-1948). Our research reveals that the Mandate legal system extinguished indigenous rights to much land in the Zor al-Zarqa and Barrat Qisarya regions through its use of 'colonial law' - the interpretation of Ottoman law by colonial officials, the use of foreign legal concepts, and the transformation of Ottoman law through supplementary legislation. However, the colonial legal system was also the site of local resistance by some Palestinian Arabs attempting to remain on their land in the face the pressure of the Mandate authorities and Jewish colonization officials. This article sheds light on the dynamics of the Mandate legal system and colonial law in the realm of land tenure relations. It also suggests that the joint efforts of Mandate and Jewish colonization officials to appropriate land and undertake 'development' operations in the area were fueled by neither the interests of colonial rule nor those of Jewish colonization alone, but, rather, by the integrated impact of both forces.
Keywords: Israel, legal geography, legal history, Jewish Palestinian relations, Mandate Palestine
JEL Classification: K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation